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Company seeks to advance autonomous truck tech

West Virginia residents may be familiar with autonomous car technology. Now, a California company is developing a system that allows trucks to be driven remotely from an office. The goal is to increase driver safety and make the truck driving position a more appealing one. If the system is fully implemented, it may allow drivers to spend more time at home as opposed to on the road.

An aftermarket kit is attached to the truck that allows the remote driver to control its transmission, throttle and steering. A combination of cameras and radar allows the driver to see what the truck sees and make decisions accordingly. The process has been compared to playing a truck simulator video game, but the vehicle that is under the driver's control is real. This person has full control of the truck at all times even if it is in autonomous mode.

While the company has not yet performed extensive tests of its system on the highway, it has seen positive results from tests done in trucking yards. The technology was tested during a 140-mile trip, and the truck was able to stay in autonomous mode during 85 percent of the journey. Currently, tests have been performed with a driver in the truck, but that may change by the end of the year.

Since a human will be in control of the truck, even if remotely, truck driver negligence may still come into play if for some reason the truck is in an accident. People who have been injured in such a collision may want to have legal assistance in pursuing appropriate compensation.

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